A command line argument is a special text string that you can add to a game’s startup sequence for various effects. These commands can be incredibly useful, but each digital game store has a different way to access them.
What is a command line argument and why should you care?
In the days of MS-DOS and other text-based operating systems, you launched a game or application by typing its “executable” name. You can add special “arguments” after the executable name if you want. For example, if you run ID Software’s classic shooter DOOM with “doom -cdrom”, this will allow you to run the game directly from the CD-ROM. Very useful when you don’t have enough space for DOOM!
Today, we don’t run games from a command line; we use graphical interfaces to click icons and buttons. However, command line arguments (also called settings) are still a common feature of modern games.
They let you access features or fixes that simply aren’t available through the game’s main interface, or they can launch a game that won’t start at all on your computer because the command is there right from the start. start and does not work. ‘t depends on the game already running.
You can find out what startup settings are available for your games by searching the web to see what the developer has posted or what other gamers have discovered. Once you have the settings you want to use, follow these steps to implement them in the most popular game storefronts on PC.
How to Add Command Line Arguments to Steam
Go to your Steam library and right-click on the game you want to modify, then select “Properties”.
Under “Launch options” you can add any command line arguments you want.
In this case, we use “-dx12” with the Stray game, which unlocks the game’s experimental ray tracing mode. Close the properties window and launch the game to see the results.
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How to Add Launch Settings to the Epic Game Store
In the Epic Games Store, click your profile icon in the top right of the app window, then click “Settings”.
Scroll down until you see the name of the game you want to change, then expand its entry and add your desired settings to the text box.
Here we use “-NOTEXTURESTREAMING” to force the game to preload all graphical textures, which solves the frame rate stutter for many players.
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How to add custom arguments to GoG
In GoG Galaxy, right click on the game you want to modify and select Manage Installation > Configure.
Switch to the “Features” tab, then check the box next to “Custom Executables/Arguments”.
In the list of executables, you can choose to duplicate an existing executable and then modify it or use the “Add another executable/argument” option to create an empty list.
You will need to choose the game executable using the open file explorer window that appears. Then add whatever arguments you want and give your modified executable a name under “My Label”. Click “OK” to save your changes.
Now head to your game library in GoG Galaxy and right click on the game then go to “Additional Executables”.
Your modified executable should be listed under the name you gave it.
If you find an argument preventing a game from launching or other issues, you can always go back and delete your settings. There are other ways to optimize your games, such as with GeForce Experience.
RELATED: Why Use GeForce Experience to Optimize Games